Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Given the circumstances, which law school is the wiser option?

College of William and Mary (~$18,000 a year+cost of living)
38
41%
Temple (Full Ride+cost of living)
54
59%
 
Total votes: 92

ragnarok545
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby ragnarok545 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks a lot for the responses, everyone. I'm still having a great deal of trouble just letting go of the T-30, but you've given me reason to look really closely at Temple.

Funny, I thought this forum would have been "what are you crazy?! Take out $160,000 out in loans and go to BU!" You guys proved me wrong. Thanks again.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:14 pm

ragnarok545 wrote:Funny, I thought this forum would have been "what are you crazy?! Take out $160,000 out in loans and go to BU!" You guys proved me wrong. Thanks again.

Well, the thing is you specifically want the Philly market when you graduate, and keeping costs low is important. I'm surprised you've heard back from BC on financial aid though; last year, they waited until after they processed my FAFSA and the NeedAccess form to notify me of what aid I received.

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bwana73
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby bwana73 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:15 pm

W&M might give you a better shot at a clerkship, but I think that is probably the only real advantage.

heyguys
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby heyguys » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:17 pm

ITE, go wherever is cheapest unless it's HYSCCN

ragnarok545
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby ragnarok545 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:20 pm

Vanwinkle, you may be right. So far, I haven't heard from BU or BC regarding scholarship money, and for now I'm assuming that means none. If after I file the FAFSA things change, I figured I would deal with that then. For now though at $40,000 tuition, they're out of the picture.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:25 pm

ragnarok545 wrote:Vanwinkle, you may be right. So far, I haven't heard from BU or BC regarding scholarship money, and for now I'm assuming that means none. If after I file the FAFSA things change, I figured I would deal with that then. For now though at $40,000 tuition, they're out of the picture.

With your softs and LSAT score I'd expect some scholarship money from BC. You should wait and hear on what they offer you before deciding, you may be surprised. If you get decent money at BC it may be worth it to go there instead, even if it costs a bit more. I would recommend that because BC will be a recognized degree in Philly, and would give you more opportunities in other markets (Boston, NYC, etc.) if you can't find work in the Philly market when you graduate. But that'll come down to how much $$$ they offer you, and without any I think Temple is a better choice due to the dramatically lower total cost of attendance.

However, regardless of what else you end up hearing, keep in mind that Temple > W&M for Philly, and you most certainly shouldn't pay more to go to W&M.

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NayBoer
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby NayBoer » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:27 pm

If it must be Philly, then Temple is better than W&M.

But I wouldn't foreclose the idea of BU/BC, pending money.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby Vincent Vega » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:41 pm

I voted Temple because of the money and proximity to your desired market.

FWIW W&M is farther south than W&L, unlike what OP said.

ragnarok545
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby ragnarok545 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:09 am

Halibut,
Wow, you're technically right! W+L just e-mailed a pretty awesome scholarship, but I guess it's a rural western Virginia vs. a not quite as rural eastern Virginia thing for me.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:00 pm

8)
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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beesknees
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby beesknees » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:17 pm

I voted Temple because I can't imagine W&M getting much attention in the Philly market, making the extra $54k seem pointless. That said, if one of the Boston schools offers you something, it'd be something to consider. BU and BC are both regional schools, but their region is larger (possibly reaching to Philly??).

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pany1985
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby pany1985 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:25 pm

What are you looking to do in the Philly market? Temple does have a lot of representation in the big Philly firms, but Villanova's on essentially the same level and people from both of those schools are probably always gonna be a notch below the Penn grads.

It probably doesn't really affect your decision much between these two schools, but if you want biglaw in Philly you're gonna have a rough time if you're outside the top 10% or so from Temple or 'Nova.


If all this is old news to you, my apologies for repeating the same ol' doom and gloom as everyone else.

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wadeny
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby wadeny » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:27 pm

What is Temple's curve like? Random posters can say "work hard and stay in the top 50% of your class," but it's often easier said than done. You could really be kicking yourself a year from now if you don't make the cut and you get saddled with all that debt.

I mean, you could say the same for any other school, but personally, I would go with W&M. For its rank/reputation, it is a great deal, and three years isn't very long at all to be away from Philly. At the very least, I would think you can find work there during the summers (I have a few friends at W&M who managed to do this pretty easily), so it's not like you're heading South for the rest of your life. Also, W&M usually feeds its graduates toward DC and the Mid-Atlantic anyway.

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Veyron
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby Veyron » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:29 pm

If the choice is between two TTT's YOU TAKE THE FUCKING FULL RIDE. After the T-14 are schools are regional (except for arguably UCLA VANDY TEXAS). What do you think happens, Philly Biglaw takes the top 20% at W and M and the top 10% at Temple? Fuck no, the recruiting guidelines for both are probably the exact same. Firms don't differentiate between lower level schools like that except based on geography.

Doodsmack
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby Doodsmack » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:31 pm

What about Villanova?

Veyron wrote:If the choice is between two TTT's YOU TAKE THE FUCKING FULL RIDE. After the T-14 are schools are regional (except for arguably UCLA VANDY TEXAS). What do you think happens, Philly Biglaw takes the top 20% at W and M and the top 10% at Temple? Fuck no, the recruiting guidelines for both are probably the exact same. Firms don't differentiate between lower level schools like that except based on geography.


This is an exaggeration.

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Notor
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby Notor » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:35 pm

I am facing a similar dilemma... Cincy or OSU over W&M, IUB and some others. I would take the money and the local networking that Temple provides. If you want to be in Philadelphia, go to the school that is closest.

ragnarok545
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby ragnarok545 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:47 am

Veyron, to be honest, that is exactly what I thought, that a top 20% at W+M would be seen as roughly on par with a top 10% at Temple, based largely off that 2005 NJ250 graph that gets passed around here. Why would that be an irrational assumption? William and Mary's law class came in with substantially higher median GPA and LSAT scores, thus forming a more difficult class to achieve rank in. Can you (or anyone else) tell me more about this viewpoint that everything below the absolute best schools is the same? My gut reaction is to take offense to your characterization of William and Mary (or even Temple) as a "third tier toilet", but if you know something I don't know, please share it. Why wouldn't law firms see the same US News list that we see and place some advantage on a T30 graduate vs. lower down?

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badwithpseudonyms
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby badwithpseudonyms » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:38 pm

ragnarok545 wrote:Veyron, to be honest, that is exactly what I thought, that a top 20% at W+M would be seen as roughly on par with a top 10% at Temple, based largely off that 2005 NJ250 graph that gets passed around here. Why would that be an irrational assumption? William and Mary's law class came in with substantially higher median GPA and LSAT scores, thus forming a more difficult class to achieve rank in. Can you (or anyone else) tell me more about this viewpoint that everything below the absolute best schools is the same? My gut reaction is to take offense to your characterization of William and Mary (or even Temple) as a "third tier toilet", but if you know something I don't know, please share it. Why wouldn't law firms see the same US News list that we see and place some advantage on a T30 graduate vs. lower down?


Welcome to the echo chamber that is TLS. :wink:

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englawyer
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby englawyer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:21 pm

Temple. You have the local connections, established family/friends network, etc.

W&M may be tempting, but there still is a culture shock for a northerner. The people in the town pretend its the 1700's of all things...you are starting to get into the south there.

i have a big city/north bias, and if you do as well, you should go Temple.

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Veyron
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby Veyron » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:56 pm

ragnarok545 wrote:Veyron, to be honest, that is exactly what I thought, that a top 20% at W+M would be seen as roughly on par with a top 10% at Temple, based largely off that 2005 NJ250 graph that gets passed around here. Why would that be an irrational assumption? William and Mary's law class came in with substantially higher median GPA and LSAT scores, thus forming a more difficult class to achieve rank in. Can you (or anyone else) tell me more about this viewpoint that everything below the absolute best schools is the same? My gut reaction is to take offense to your characterization of William and Mary (or even Temple) as a "third tier toilet", but if you know something I don't know, please share it. Why wouldn't law firms see the same US News list that we see and place some advantage on a T30 graduate vs. lower down?


Because these numbers are lies. It is pretty much universally agreed that that the way that non T-14's report employment numbers is not to be relied upon (depends on voluntary responses etc.) I would much rather be top 10% at Temple with no debt for working in Philly than top 20% at W & M with buckets and buckets of it. Of course, if I'd rather be Penn Leavy most of all :wink:

Think of it this way. If the hiring partner went to T-14, either school is TTT to them. There may be a difference in #'s between W and M and Temple, but I assure you, it is small compared to the difference between W and M and GULC.

If the hiring partner went to a non-t14, rankings are bullshit - no TTT is better than his. Where do you think that most TTT hiring partners went in the Philly market, Temple or W and M? Do you really think a hiring partner from Nova is going to favor you over someone from Drexel just because you went to W and M? That would be the same sort of elitism that he has been accusing T-14ers of ever since he matriculated at his tiny pink school.

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PatriotsPride
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Re: Seeking helpful input on a really tough law school decision

Postby PatriotsPride » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:47 pm

Our situations are extremely parallel ( I am also an ug at temple) and I chose Temple because my goals are very similar to yours. Temple really enables in state residents who want to want to work in Philadelphia an excellent opportunity to do so while keeping down costs. I think if Philadelphia is where you want to end up then Temple is a real no brainer (although I really took awhile to weigh everything). Also, I think UG and Law school will differ in the actual experience (which seems to be a concern of yours).




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